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ARRL NC Section Newsletter - April 2015

Posted May 1, 2015

Greetings to all Hams across North Carolina from Karl W4CHX, your ARRL NC Section Manager!

HR 1301 AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2015 – The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 – known as HR1301 – was introduced in the US House of Representatives on March 4th. The Bill would require the FCC to amend its Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply the three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to include homeowners' association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as "covenants, conditions, and restrictions" or CC&Rs. HR 1301 was introduced by Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). As of April 30th, HR 1301 has 50 co-sponsors, including Representative David Price (D-NC-4). ARRL members are urged to contact their US House members and ask them to sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor. For further information, see

"THINKING DAY" ACTIVITY GETS GIRL SCOUTS THINKING ABOUT HAM RADIO – On April 13th, information was distributed about a "Thinking Day" activity known as Thinking Day On The Air (TDOTA), an event similar to the Boy Scouts JOTA. In 2016, TDOTA will be held on the third full weekend in February, ie, February 20-21, 2016. For further information, see

FCC PROPOSES TO MAKE PAST AMATEUR RADIO ADDRESS INFORMATION PRIVATE – On April 16th, with an update on April 17th, it was announced that the FCC was seeking comments on a Notice of Proposed Rule Making that would restrict routine public inspection of an Amateur Radio licensee’s address history. The FCC said the action was being taken in an effort to enhance the privacy of individual licensees. The change would not affect public access to a licensee’s current address information. For further information, including the comment period, see

FCC PROPOSES TO PERMIT AMATEUR ACCESS TO 2200 AND 630 METERS – On April 28th, it was announced that amateur radio would likely gain access to two (2) new bands on a secondary basis: the LF band, 135.7 to 137.8 kHz (2200 meters); and, the MF band, 472 to 479 kHz (630 meters). No amateur radio operations will be permitted in either band until the FCC determines, on the basis of comments, the specific Part 97 rules needed to permit operation in the new bands. For further information on the proposed permits, related matters, and comment period, see

As this announcement was being distributed, an email communication was received from Ralph Wallio, Jr, W0RPK with an update on 630m activity in the Roanoke Division. Ralph W0RPK is aware of these details, because he has participated in the ARRL WD2XSH 630m Experiment since 2006. In his email, the latest WD2XSH status report was included. Fritz Raab, W1FR, ARRL 630m Experiment Coordinator, prepared the report with contributions from John Langridge, KB5NJD and Warren Ziegler, Jr, K2ORS; and, it covered the period, December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015. Only the NC operations are discussed hereafter. The ARRL experimental station, WD2XSH/10, was operated by Joe "Dex" McIntyre, W4DEX of Stanfield; it was very active beginning in 2006. No individual 630m experimental stations are licensed in North Carolina. As an aside, Ralph W0RPK commented that, "my ARRL experimental station, WD2XSH/34 was very active in Iowa starting in 2009 before our move to Greenville in 2013. I am equipped and intend to quickly go-on-the-air here in Greenville if and when 630m is approved as a new Ham band." For further information on the ARRL 600 Meter Experimental Group and their recommendations, see and Thanks to Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, and Fritz Raab, W1FR, ARRL 630m Experiment Coordinator, for providing this information!

ARRL STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS 2015 – At the January 2015 Board meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors approved a process to create a new ARRL Strategic Plan. The last strategic plan was created in 2009. President Kay Craigie, N3KN, tasked ARRL 2nd Vice President Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, to chair the Working Group. Their charge is to look forward to define where the ARRL should focus its energy to insure that future programs and services meet a changing environment and maintain the current positive aspects of the League's member base. For further information on the ARRL Strategic Planning Process 2015, including how to provide your comments to the Working Group, see

ARES – NC AUXCOMM AREAS 3 & 4 MEETING IN WARSAW (4/18) – The following edited report was received from Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE: "On Saturday, April 18, 2015, ARES – NC AUXCOMM Areas 3 & 4 met to discuss communication requirements and capabilities within this 12-county region in eastern North Carolina. The conference took place in Warsaw, NC and it was organized by Jerry Jones, KF4ASE, Area 4 District Emergency Coordinator. Topics discussed at the meeting included: updates on NC Emergency Management presented by Jeff Childs, NC Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, NCEM; updates on ARES, NC AUXCOMM, and FirstNet, the new broadband data net for emergency responders, presented by Tom Brown, N4TAB, Section Emergency Coordinator; updates on SKYWARN presented by John Hopkins, KJ4EJH, Emergency Coordinator, Newport SKYWARN; discussions on activities in Areas 3 & 4 lead by Jerry Jones, KF4ASE; and, updates on Roanoke Division and NC Section matters presented by Bill Morine, N2COP, Vice Director Roanoke Division, and, Karl Bowman W4CHX, NC Section Manager." Thanks to: Jerry Jones, KF4ASE, Area 4 District Emergency Coordinator for organizing the meeting; all speakers and attendees for participating in the meeting; and, Janice Hopkins, KJ4JPE, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

LICENSING CLASSES – Cary (NC), General licensing class, May 9 to June 6, 2015, sponsored by Raleigh Amateur Radio Society, contact Murray Merner, K4MHM by phone at (919) 803-7973 or by email at for further information. To find upcoming classes, go to Please note that a licensing class sponsored by your club or organization will not be listed on the ARRL website unless you register your class. ARRL Registered Instructors may list upcoming classes on the ARRL website. For further information, see Also, please let me know if your club is sponsoring a licensing class. Thanks!

MEDIA HITS AND REPORTS – The following media hits and reports are included in this month’s newsletter: On the 25th Annual Down East Hamfest, which was held on March 28th in Kinston, see Thanks to David Williams, N4JGD, President, Kinston Amateur Radio Society, for providing this media hit!

On amateur radio operators providing assistance to the Block House Steeplechase, see

On discovering NTS and becoming involved in traffic handling, see, pages 13 and 14. Please take a look at the rest of this outstanding newsletter from the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club, which is produced monthly by Ro Maddox, K4HRM. Thanks to Will King, WB4Y, for providing this report!

On switching power supplies as a common noise source, an interview with EMI expert, Ed Hare, W1RFI, ARRL Laboratory Manager during RARSfest, see

On the participation of the Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club in the NC Azalea Festival, see

On HR 1301 Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, an interview with Bill Morine, N2COP and Karl Bowman, W4CHX during RARSfest, see

On the Rockingham City Council passing new rules overseeing telecommunications, including amateur radio towers, see Please note: the NC Section and Roanoke Division leaders have just become aware of these new rules and we are discussing actions that may be needed.

On W4SNC – Iredell County Amateur Radio Society, the only US station listed as a Special Event Station honoring World Amateur Radio Day on April 18th, see Thanks to W4SNC – Iredell County Amateur Radio Society for operating their Special Event Station; and, to Bill Morine, N2COP, Roanoke Division Vice Director, for providing this report!

On the 18th Annual Catawba Valley Hamfest, which was held on April 18th in Morganton, see Thanks to the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club, for providing this report!

On the last Manual Morse Code class being taught by the US Army, see It is worth noting that future courses will be taught by the US Air Force. Thanks to Ricky Tharrington, KD4JRX, for providing this information, which was forwarded to me by Tom Brown, N4TAB, Section Emergency Coordinator!

The following edited report was received from Dave Ritter, ND4MR: "The ever outreaching Foothills Amateur Radio Club (Wilkesboro, NC) is proud to inform you that our Tech License class, which ended earlier tonight, has created 11 new hams: 9 new Tech's and 2 who passed all the way to General. This marks the 4th Ham class in a row with a 100% pass rate." In a second email communication, Dave ND4MR provided a list of the newly licensed amateur operators. The individuals passing the Technician licensing examination were: Danny Minton, KM4JTG; James Davis, KM4JTJ; Vicki Davis, KM4JTK; Gary Whitley, KM4JTL; Joseph Maier, KM4JTM; Gene Nesgoda, KM4JTN; Ronnie McMillan, KM4JTO; Reginald Blackburn, KM4JTP; and, Michael Byrd, KM4JTQ. The individuals passing both the Technician and General licensing examinations were: Thomas Beck, KM4JTH; and, Ronald Turner, KM4JTI. In addition, Eldon Joines, KM4FSG passed the General licensing examination for an upgrade from his Technician class license. Congratulations to the Hams on their new licenses! Also, thanks to the WCARS VE Team for administering the examinations; and, thanks to Dave Ritter, ND4MR, Vice President and Public Outreach Officer, Foothills Amateur Radio Club, for teaching the class and providing this information!

The following edited report was received from Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, President of the Watauga Amateur Radio Club: "The club's Beech Mountain repeater is operational as of 4 PM on April 21st. Riley Hatch, KM4GOE, and Danny Horney, KE4AAP, did a first rate job today in getting the Beech Mountain repeater relocated up on the peak of Beech Mountain, near the Pagoda in the Land of Oz. The elevation is approximately 5400 ft above mean sea level. Operating parameters for your radios are 444.575 MHz, +5 MHz offset, and 151.4 Hz tone on both transmit and receive. Initial reports from Banner Elk, Rominger, Elk Park, Newland, Linville, Fleetwood, Stony Fork, and Boone were very positive as to the coverage. As time passes, I am sure we will hear additional reports from parts of Avery County south of Sugar Mountain and from the western portions of Watauga County. This project is one part of the Club's ongoing commitment, using its financial resources to provide reliable communications to support ARES, the Red Cross, local emergency management agencies, and area service organizations." Thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, President of the Watauga Amateur Radio Club for providing this report!

The following edited report on Scouting activities in the NC Section was received from Charles Good, KM4AMT, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer for the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society: "The Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting's national honor society. All youth members in the troop participate in the election of new youth members, based on their Scouting spirit and camping ability. The aims of the OA are to promote the outdoor program and service to Scouting. An OA conclave is a meeting for OA members from a specific geographic area.

The Tuscarora Council, headquartered in Greensboro, held an OA Conclave on April 17-19, 2015, at BSA Camp Tuscarora, near Four Oaks, NC. Since this year marks the 100th anniversary of OA, the Tuscarora Council wanted to celebrate this in a big way at their spring OA conclave. I say big because 1,466 Scouts and adult leaders (Scouters) attended the event. Saturday was OA exhibit day and here are some of the exhibitors: Cape Fear Raptor Center had a live owl and rescued hawk on display; Troop 109 (Boone, NC) had a large paracord setup; a "fry anything" station where they fried things like candy bars and snacks; the NC Forest Service; Cherokee Indian history exhibit; Camp Raven Knob Boy Scout Summer Camp (Mount Pilot, NC); a tree farm giving out pine seedlings; Campbell Creek pottery with a portable kiln; a scuba adventures exhibit from Beaufort, NC; BSA Northern Tier High Adventure Program exhibit; and, about 20 other displays.

This year, the OA Conclave had an amateur radio exhibit, which was staffed by members of the Wayne County Amateur Radio Association (WCARA) and several Hams from Wake County. Dave Price, K4KDP was the Scouter who coordinated the exhibit. Some of the equipment displayed and demonstrated included VHF/UHF HT radios, a mobile HF transceiver, a QRP setup, HF and VHF/UHF antennas, and antenna launching. Hams participating in the amateur radio exhibit included: Peter Wene, WA5T, President of WCARA; Ray Lane, KD4FV; Alex Mark, KM4FFB; Bob Howett, WD4FIX; Joe Melendez, N0TGO; Charles Good, KM4AMT; and, Dave Price, K4KDP. To view photos, visit my Google page at" Thanks to all Hams participating in the 2015 OA Conclave; and, thanks to Charles Good, KM4AMT, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

The following edited report on Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society activities was received from Irv McWherter, K3IRV, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer for their club: "April has been busy for members of the Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society (CFARS). On April 11th, we had a booth at the Cumberland Disaster Recovery Coalition's Expo on Disaster Preparedness. Van Vander Clute, N4ERM and Irv McWherter, K3IRV had the opportunity to talk to many people about Amateur Radio. They distributed many of the various ARRL brochures and provided information, and a data sheet, about the Cumberland County Emergency Shelters.

Eleven members of CFARS provided Public Service Communications support to the Fayetteville MS Walk on April 19th. We provided shadow communications for the event coordinator, communications at rest stops, and communications for the SAG vehicle and the medical/multipurpose vehicle. Members participating were: Kelly Kanode, N4EWG; Joe Holler, W3OJO; Bill Kelchner, KU4W; Chuck Ward, KJ4RV; Andrew Ferguson, KK4MCY; Bill Ivey, KJ4OFD; Chuck Trombley, AE4FZ; Jim Hawthorne, KI4YRH; Bob Tygh, WA4WHV; Van Vander Clute, N4ERM; and, Irv McWherter, K3IRV.

The next day, eight of us validated and tested communications between the Cumberland County EOC and seven emergency shelters. We established reliable communications between the EOC and the emergency shelters on two repeaters and VHF simplex. Each of the shelters is equipped with an external, dual-band antenna and cabling to an area where an operator can set up a station. Participants were: Bill Ivey, KJ4OFD; Bob Tygh, WA4WHV; Bill Kelchner, KU4W; Marty Webb, KD4YQE; Chuck Trombley, AE4FZ; Van Vander Clute, N4ERM; Chuck Ward, KJ4RV; and, Irv McWherter, K3IRV." Thanks to all Hams participating in these events; and, to Irv Mc Wherter, K3IRV, an ARRL-trained Public Information Officer, for providing this report!

The following edited report was received from Marv Hoffman, WA4NC: "When Ray Stripling, K4LQO (SK) passed away in December 2014, he left his Ham radio equipment to the Watauga Amateur Radio Club. WARC is accepting bids on a large portion of the equipment, including two Flex radios. Proceeds benefit the Club. For a list of the items being sold, please contact Jack Bechtel, KB4JEB, at Bidding is open from May 4 to May 11." Thanks to Marv Hoffman, WA4NC, President of the Watauga Amateur Radio Club, for providing this information.

The following edited report was received from club member, Dudley Hale, W4WNC: "The Haywood County Amateur Radio Club was involved in the 2015 Smoky Mountain Relay, a 212 mile foot race from Brevard to the Nantahala Outdoor Center. The race started at 0500 EST on April 17th and ended 38 hours later on April 18th. There were 34 running teams participating, and the first team to finish did so in 25 hours.

We set up four stations along a 25-mile portion of Forest Service roads in the Nantahala National Forest, which was 100 miles into the race. We used one repeater (145.490 MHz) and simplex (146.560 MHz) for communications. Nine operators were utilized from 2000 EST April 17th to 0500 EST April 18th; and, 105 messages were sent and received. Net Control was Anthony Knight, KK4FFE; and, the other operators were Ralph Laney, KF4GUW; Gary Small, KK4FEZ; Julian Caudill, WX4WNC; Douglas Knight, KM4FHO; Harold Lhoest, W4HML; Paul Yeager, W4SKI; Anthony Messer, K4CCP; and, Dudley Hale, W4WNC. The cost of equipment was $11,400.00 – we deployed a comms trailer – and the personnel costs were $1,824.00. We spent 96 hours preparing and "on station", and we drove 1,420 miles. I sent an FSD-157 form to the ARRL. All Hams said they would do it again. During May, we will participate in the Waynesville 1/2 Marathon (5/2) and run a Special Event Station (5/9) to celebrate the last shot fired in the Civil War in Waynesville. The Town of Waynesville and Haywood County have huge events planned over a three-weekend period, including a Civil War re-enactment on May 9th." Thanks to all Hams providing communication services to the 2015 Smoky Mountain Relay; and, to Dudley Hale, W4WNC of the Haywood County Amateur Radio Club, for providing this report!

NTS SECTION TRAFFIC REPORT FOR MARCH, 2015 – QNI (total check-ins): 2,302; Total messages passed: 665. Station Activity Reports (SARs), total number: K4IWW 596, WK4WC 167, K4JHB 143, AK4RJ 142, W2EAG 139, KC4PGN 137, W4DNA 112, KF4OCU 86, W4TTO 75, WB4ZIQ 56, KE4AHC 38, KW4EMG 34, N2RTF 26. Public Service Honor Roll (PSHR), total number: KW4EMG 199, WK4WC 155, W4DNA 135, WB4ZIQ 135, K4IWW 130, N2RTF 111, W2EAG 110, W4TTO 100, AK4RJ 90, K4JHB 80, KF4OCU 80. Thanks to all stations for participating in NC Section traffic activities and to Dave Roy, W4DNA, Section Traffic Manager, for providing this information!

SILENT KEYS – With deep regret, the passing of the following amateur radio operator is reported: Dennis Patrick Driscoll, WB4HDC (SK) of Cape Carteret. Please note it is not possible to post information about an amateur radio operator that has become a Silent Key without confirmation via a copy of an obituary or death certificate.

SKYWARN SPOTTER TRAINING (5/30) – Hickory (NC), Saturday, May 30, 2015. Basic class from 10:00 AM to 12:15 PM, advanced class from 1:00 to 2:30 PM. Location: Hickory Regional Airport, The Crosswind Café, 3101 9th Avenue Dr NW, Hickory, NC 28601. There is no charge for the class. RSVP: Thanks to Lee Sossamon, KK4GEV, for providing this information!

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS – May 9: Inaugural Special Event Celebrating 150th Anniversary of Last Shot Fired of the Civil War, 1400Z-2000Z, KW4P, Waynesville, NC. Haywood County Amateur Radio Club. 28.440 21.340 14.340 7.240. Certificate. HCARC, PO Box 1435, Waynesville, NC 28786. More information and downloadable certificate June 27-28: Field Day, 1212Z-1212Z, N4T, Lake Lure, NC. Isothermal Amateur Radio Club. 14.800 14.700 7.275 7.080. Certificate. Bob Bischoff, 180 Persimmon Rdg, Rutherfordton, NC 28139. July 15-17: Royal Rangers 2015 Camp-o-Rama, 1500Z-2200Z, K4R, Browns Summit, NC. Royal Rangers. 28.450 21.250 14.250 7.150. QSL. Steven R. Allen, 5691 Howell Dr, Dublin, VA 24084. Royal Rangers is a boys Ministry of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church and the Assembly of God Church. Special Event Station listings in the NC Section newsletter are based on what appears on the ARRL website, see Please consider listing your Special Event Station at least 60 days before the event, see Also, please let me know if your club is sponsoring a Special Event Station. Thanks!

UPCOMING HAMFESTS – May 9: Rockingham County ARC Swapfest, Rockingham County Amateur Radio Club, Reidsville, NC, see May 16: FreeGate 2015, Qorvo Amateur Radio Club, Greensboro, NC, see June 13: Winston-Salem Hamfest, Forsyth Amateur Radio Club, Winston-Salem, NC, see July 11, 2015: 30th Annual Firecracker Hamfest, Rowan Amateur Radio Society, Salisbury, NC, see July 18: Mid-Summer SWAPFEST, Cary Amateur Radio Club, Cary, NC, see July 25: WCARS Hamfest 2015, Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society, Waynesville, NC, see August 8: 17th Annual Cape Fear Amateur Radio Swapfest, Cape Fear Amateur Radio Society, Fayetteville, NC, September 5-6: 59th Annual Shelby Hamfest/Roanoke Division Convention, Shelby Amateur Radio Club, Shelby, NC, see It is not too early to apply for ARRL-affiliation of your club’s 2015 hamfest! For more information, see QUA* – On Saturday, April 4th, I attended the 43rd Annual RARSfest 2015 / ARRL NC State Convention in Raleigh, which was sponsored by the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society. On April 18th, I attended the ARES – NC AUXCOMM Area 3 & 4 meeting Warsaw, NC. I regret not being available to attend the 18th Annual Catawba Valley Hamfest in Morganton, which was held the same day. I would like to thank Tim Slay, N4IB, Assistant Section Manager and Affiliated Club Coordinator, for attending the Hamfest and handling any ARRL matters for the attendees. At the end of the month (4/27), I met with the members of the Greensboro Amateur Radio Association at their dinner meeting and made a presentation on my visits to Field Day sites in Western NC last year. I enjoyed seeing everyone at all of the events this month and appreciate greatly the hospitality that was extended to everyone in attendance!

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or want to provide input on our Section. I can be reached via email at or via cell phone. As always, thank you for sending your emails and club newsletters – they keep me informed about your activities and programs! I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming hamfest or club meeting. Finally, thanks for everything you are doing for amateur radio and your community! 73, Karl Bowman, W4CHX, ARRL North Carolina Section Manager, (919) 669-6068 (cell)